Disclaimer: I own only the characters you don't recognise and the order the words are in. The rest belongs to TPTB, but since they're on season hiatus, I figured someone may as well pull them out of the box. And, trust me, they're having fun here. Angst? What angst?
Playlist: Scarecrow by Beck : Weekend by Ladytron : The Way you Are by 46Bliss
Kirsten stretched her legs out in the last of the afternoon sun and sighed. She had a roast in the oven and vegetables waiting to be steamed. The smell of the roast reached her outside, on her lounge near the pool, and she sniffed appreciatively. Who would have guessed that the woman who hadn't been able to cook toast without setting off fire alarms was now capable of cooking a several-course meal? The only thing that would make the afternoon more perfect would be a nice glass of chianti or merlot beside her. Immediately, her light mood dampened somewhat as Kirsten picked up the crystal goblet beside her and took a sip of water.
"Honey!" Sandy's voice echoed through the empty house to her. The boys were away at college, both enjoying it from what she heard. Ryan was still dealing with Marissa, but after a long talk with her and Sandy had decided that college and a fresh start might be best. He rang a few times a week, needing to touch base with them. She loved hearing about Berkeley again, the way the trees in the courtyard still shed golden leaves in the fall, the way the library was open all night, the way the markets sprawled across the university blocks the first Sunday of every month selling everything from chicken feet to books on the end of the world. She missed being young, being free.
Kirsten smiled at Sandy as he came out to her. She moved her legs and he perched at the end of the lounger, resting a hand on her thigh.
"Hey. You're home early." She took another sip of water, pushed her hair back from her face. A breeze had come up that afternoon, bringing with it hints of winter. The bare skin around her singlet was pleasantly chilled.
"It was a good day. Minimal arraignments. What did you get up to?" Sandy leaned forward and kissed Kirsten before she answered. He loved her like this; relaxed, slightly wind ruffled and heartbreakingly beautiful.
"Well," she said once they broke apart, "I had yogalates this morning. Then Julie and I had coffee…"
"You went shopping, didn't you?" Sandy asked. Kirsten looked at him coyly from under her eyelashes.
I may have. But you're going to like this." She grinned a little, laid back in the chair, an arm above her head, holding her hair back. Her eyes darkened with the sky, deepening into twilight blue.
"Really?" Sandy said, having to lean forward further to reach her lips. They curved as he met them, her tongue darting out to lick along his bottom lip.
"Really." Kirsten brought the hand she'd been holding her hair down with to pull Sandy in closer. She laughed as the hand he was holding himself up from slipped, and he had to twist his body to avoid landing on her. She shuffled over and pulled him over so he was underneath her.
"So, what did you buy?" Sandy managed to ask between kisses. Kirsten moved down to his throat and nuzzled it, knowing exactly which parts of his skin were most sensitive.
"Well," she purred against his neck, "think of black lace… Red trim… Stockings and garter belt..." Sandy groaned, already enticed by the thought of her in a garter belt. Kirsten laughed into his shirt, which she'd managed to prise off his shoulder without him noticing. Lightning quick hands worked at more buttons as her mouth found its way back to his. She bit gently on his lips while her hands reached for his stomach and lower, untucking his shirt.
"Well, this is certainly a welcome home." Sandy managed to get out. Her hair trailed over his face, tickling him as it moved in the short bursts of wind. Kirsten paused nibbling at his ear and sat up, straddling him.
"Are you complaining?" She asked, a smile playing about her features. In the half light she was a goddess above him. He reached out a hand, trailed it down her cheek and across her satiny skin, down her neck to the hollow between her breasts where her silk singlet dipped down.
"God, no." Kirsten smiled wider as his response was strangled by desire in his throat, feeling him growing beneath her. She stretched herself out along him again, knowing how much he'd like the feeling of her silk covered breasts on his bare chest.
"Mmm." Sandy brought her face up, his kiss more urgent, his tongue probing, circling hers. Her hands dipped down, toyed with his belt. With the boys gone, they'd become more inventive and risqué about the places they'd make love. Of course, having the boys around had never stopped a tryst or two in the kitchen; which Seth would faint over if he ever knew. But somehow, knowing it was just the two of them and that no one was going to just show up… They were becoming almost as spontaneous and well travelled as they had been when they'd first met. It wouldn't be the first time the pool chairs had creaked under the weight of their intertwined bodies.
Sandy's hands had worked themselves under Kirsten's shirt to stroke her familiar stomach. They were moving higher when the oven started buzzing. He heard Kirsten swear as she was kissing him and felt her weight shift before it left him completely. Where there'd been a silken body before, there was only cool air. He opened his eyes to see her above him, vaguely amused by his arousal that he couldn't hide. Sandy reached out for her hand, pulling her closer to him.
"The roast can burn." He pleaded. Kirsten leaned over so she was eye level with him, noticing how far his pupils had dilated with desire and spoke as seriously as she could manage.
"I worked all afternoon on that roast." She smoothly pulled her hand away and allowed herself a giggle as she walked down to the kitchen.
"Aw, honey," Sandy called after her. Kirsten opened the oven door, skewered the meat to see if it was cooked. Satisfied, she switched the oven off and shut the door again. Despite the cool air they'd been laying in she felt warm on the inside. She didn't need the oven heating her from the outside as well. She posted herself at the kitchen door, watching Sandy pull his clothes together and redress. He looked up at her with devious eyes.
"You know what this means." He said as he started buttoning his shirt. Kirsten let the silence stretch, knowing he'd tell her what it meant.
"Someone's going to be wearing a garter belt tonight." He stood up to straighten his shirt. Kirsten watched him walk towards her, arousal still slightly evident. The doorbell rang, and Kirsten stood up from the wall, started to walk out of the kitchen.
"I'm not sure you'd look good in black and red," she said. She heard his laughter follow her out.
Kirsten pulled open the heavy door and stood, shocked when she saw who it was. She'd been expecting Julie, although wondering why she'd ring the bell when she usually just let herself in. Instead, it was Will Armstrong and Louise Sullivan. Kirsten and Will had briefly dated before she found Sandy and, after realising she wasn't going to come back to him, found Louise. The couples had double dated a few times, awkwardly because of Sandy and Louise's lack of knowledge about Kirsten's involvement with Will. They'd always seen each other at college parties, though; Louise clinging protectively to Will as he sought Kirsten out, she with a drink always in her hands.
She and Sandy had moved from Berkeley to Newport because of her mother and the couples had lost touch around then. Kirsten hadn't even known whether they were still together.
"Hi! Come in." Kirsten motioned them in and shut the door before receiving hugs from each of them.
"Hey, K." Will, using his nickname for her, kissed her on both cheeks and Louise gave an awkward hug. They'd both aged, as Kirsten knew she and Sandy had, but Louise still had the same green to her eyes and Will, an ex-member of the football team, was no less muscle bound than she remembered. She remembered reading that he'd got a deal with a Southern team and become quite famous before being kicked out of the team for a failed drug test. She'd not been surprised at his downfall; he was always the one with the stash at college.
"God, how did you find us?" Kirsten asked before motioning them through to the kitchen. Louise shrugged, her answer put off by a greeting from Sandy as he saw them. Will took over and answered.
"We were in the area, remembered you guys moved to around here. All it took was a call to Taryn; much as I loathe that woman, she still knows where absolutely everyone is. So we thought we'd drop by."
"Stay for dinner?" Kirsten asked. Will narrowed his eyes at her, a smile around his lips.
"You didn't cook did you?" Kirsten threw the oven mitt she was holding at him and he laughed. She'd stayed at his place once and he'd cooked them breakfast. She'd volunteered to do the toast and hadn't been able to manage it. They'd eaten eggs without toast before going back to bed.
"Kirsten can cook now." Sandy placed a kiss on the back on her neck and Kirsten turned to smile at him.
"A lot has changed." She said before looking back at their guests. "Did you guys want a drink? Wine, water, juice?" She felt Sandy's hand at her hip, supporting. It was a long time since her last drink but they both knew relapse was only a sip away. She interlaced her fingers with his, letting him know it was okay, that she wouldn't have offered if it wasn't.
"Wine would be great." Louise answered for both of them and settled herself at the breakfast bar while the men left to choose a wine. Usually stored near the kitchen, Sandy had moved their alcohol to the back of the dining room, out of everyday sight.
"So, have you guys been together all this time?" Kirsten set up the steamer on the stove and put the vegetables in, along with some spices.
"No. Not at all. We finished college and lived together for a while before our jobs took us in different directions. Then we bumped into each other last year at a party. I'd just left my husband, Will was yet to be married…" Louise shrugged again before looking around the room, and Kirsten remembered it was almost her signature move. Cute on a twenty something year old, her shrugging was now vaguely annoying.
"This is some house, Kirsten. I mean, really." She stroked a finger over the bench the was sitting at, and murmured, "marble," more to herself than Kirsten. Saved from answering by the return of Sandy and Will, Kirsten reached up to get the crystal glasses from the cupboard. She brought down three.
"Not drinking?" Louise asked. Kirsten shook her head, shot a sideways glance at Sandy.
"AA." She said before turning back to the stove top. She was expecting a stunned silence instead of Will's laugh.
"Seriously, K? The girl who made getting drunk look elegant?" He sighed, accepted his glass as the wine was poured. She looked over at him to see his eyes twinkling at her and gave him a small smile, remembering her father's funeral when she'd been anything but elegant. He raised his glass, prompting everyone else to do the same.
"To the memories," he said, his eyes still locked on Kirsten. She turned away from him to finish preparing the vegetables.
They ate early, in the kitchen with the doors open, the breeze just cool enough to be refreshing. Will looked satisfyingly amazed with her newfound cooking ability, and Louise filled the air with talk of her new job as a tort lawyer in Washington. Sandy argued with her about the moral implications of it while everyone but Kirsten drank more. Sandy gave her a glance as she filled up his glass, and she nodded at him, letting him know it was okay for him to drink. He'd foregone alcohol for the first few months after she got home but slowly he'd started drinking again, all the while making sure it was fine with her.
She cleared the plates when they were finished before excusing herself to get another bottle; the fourth for the night.
"You haven't changed," Will said from behind her while the was kneeling at the wine rack. Kirsten gasped, put a hand to her heart. She chose a good merlot and stood.
"God, don't you know not to sneak up on people like that?" Kirsten rechecked the date on the wine and nodded to herself.
"You look exactly the same. Gorgeous." Will reached over to her and she felt his hands trail through her hair. Kirsten took a step back. He'd always been like this; a comment here, a not so innocent touch there. Will pulled a small vial out of his pocket, shook it so Kirsten could see the white powder rattling.
"Way I see it, you don't get to drink, you should get something." Recognizing the drug, Kirsten shook her head. She'd done the usual round of drugs in college, especially in the short time she'd been with Will, but she was a parent and a recovering alcoholic; all drugs were meant to be avoided.
"K, we both know you're not going to have a good time if you're the only sober one in the room. I'm not asking you to have a drink. It's just a little something so you're not the most responsible in the room. No one but us needs to know." Kirsten shook her head again as Will poured some out onto the dining room table, levelled it and lined it up.
"Will, I don't do drugs anymore. At all. I've got kids now…"
"But do you do boring now?" Somehow, he'd managed to push the right button. It was, she knew, her biggest and most vain worry. She'd rarely been at parties without a drink in her hand. She hated thinking about how the glittering socialite she used to be might have changed to something… Boring. Kirsten looked at him, at the clear tube he was offering. Sandy didn't have to know. Seth and Ryan would almost certainly never find out. Her father was dead and unable to be disapproving. Right now it was just Will and her in the dining room, wine she wasn't allowed to drink in her hand, cocaine on the table.
Without thinking, Kirsten grabbed the straw and quickly snorted the few lines. It hit the back of her nose immediately, irritating her septum and making her eyes water. She sniffed several times, tilting her head back. Sandy was too drunk to notice the changes cocaine made in her; increased swearing, increased laughter, increased libido.
Will plucked the straw from her hand and laid a few lines for himself while she walked back through to the kitchen, feeling vaguely satisfied with herself. She'd stepped outside the box. Other than her addiction to alcohol, since college she'd been largely good; well mannered, well behaved. It felt almost risky to have sampled something from the dark side and, Kirsten had to admit to herself as colours became brighter, it felt good.
"Wine." Kirsten handed the opener and bottle to Sandy as she came back to the table. Leaning down as he took it she snaked her tongue around his mouth before darting it in. Pulling back abruptly, Kirsten looked over to see Will walking into the kitchen, still rubbing his nose. She sank into her chair and shared a look with him.
"So, what was the topic? Have we moved on from the way mass torts only strangle the little people?" Will leant back in his chair after picking up the full wineglass Sandy had poured for him.
"We were talking about college. The people we knew. Things we used to do." Louise shrugged as an ending to her sentence and Kirsten found herself gritting her teeth. Another side effect of cocaine; whatever annoyed her before would really piss her off now.
"Well… We've been talking all night. I've got a plan for a game…" Will smiled around at them all. With the exception of Kirsten, they were all far past the stage of making decent judgements. When Will suggested spin the bottle, Louise looked interested and, though wary, Sandy appeared open to the idea.
"I think it's a fucking great idea." Kirsten grabbed one of the empty wine bottles off the counter and corked it before bringing it back to the table. She vaguely remembered playing this, as a couple, in Sandy's dorm room. As far as she knew, he'd never done hard drugs but he did occasionally enjoy a toke or two and he'd been flying high enough to agree to play. She and Sandy had offered only pecks on the cheek but the rest of their group had really gotten into it. She wasn't sure how it was going to play tonight since there were only four of them, but she wanted to find out.
"You first," Will motioned to Sandy and he spun the bottle. It landed on Will and everyone laughed. He spun again and got Kirsten. She leant forward and his mouth connected to hers. She drank in the taste of him; the endless amounts of wine he'd consumed lingered on his tongue and, though berating herself, she held him to her, tried to get every last taste. Will and Louise cheered as they broke apart and Kirsten smiled coyly. She reached an arm out and spun, landing on Louise. She was about to spin again when Will grabbed her arm.
"You and Sandy didn't have to kiss!" Louise interjected, knowing his intentions. Kirsten looked over at Sandy. She remembered his porn stash on the computer; all blonde women, some of them kissing brunettes. She'd always wondered whether it was meant to be her and Rebecca. Kirsten shrugged and leaned forward over the table, supporting her weight on her arms. Louise rolled her eyes and lifted herself out of the chair. There was a pause as their eyes met before Kirsten's lips landed lightly on hers, lingering. Then they both pulled back. Will was looking through heavily lidded eyes and he let out a small whistle of appreciation as they both sat down. Sandy snaked out a hand, snagged hers in its grip. Louise spun the bottle and landed on Will as Kirsten leant over to Sandy.
"I think… Did you just kiss a woman?" Sandy murmured in her ear. Kirsten laughed, leant back away from him as Will spun after several moments with Louise. The bottle pointed to Kirsten, and the table stopped. Kirsten's hand dropped from Sandy's and Louise's mouth opened wordlessly. Will was looking at her with interest and she realised, too late, that this had been his intention all along. Cocaine humming through her bloodstream, she didn't care at this point. Sandy was too drunk to remember anything and Will would be gone by the morning. Kirsten leant forward, looking into his eyes. She remembered them, how they'd looked in the dark above her. Their relationship was always sex more than anything. He'd been a distraction after Jimmy, a way to ease herself back into the world of men and dating without becoming emotionally attached.
He brought a hand up and rested it on the back of her neck lightly before bringing his lips to hers. Involuntarily, her mouth opened and she let his tongue tease over her teeth before they both drew back. Louise stood abruptly, muttering about the bathroom.
"I'll show you," Kirsten preceded her upstairs, already knowing it had been a mistake. She hadn't taken enough cocaine to completely kill her judgements, and she had a familiar sinking feeling in her stomach. The same feeling she'd had after Jimmy had kissed her… After she'd kissed Carter… This time she'd done it right in front of Sandy. What the fuck was she thinking?
"What the fuck were you thinking?" Louise asked when the were safely out of earshot of everyone else. Kirsten motioned to the bathroom door and started to leave, declining to answer. She didn't have an answer. Louise kept talking, her words reaching her as she walked towards the stairs.
"I know he's still infatuated with you. He's got a picture of you and him at some party folded into his wallet. I found it. That's what we broke up over at the start. You. Then he suggests a holiday here and calls Taryn to get your address. It's always been you." Louise's last words, laced with a poisonous tone, were punctuated by her slamming the bathroom door.
Kirsten walked back down to the kitchen where Sandy and Will were making small talk as if Will hadn't just kissed Kirsten in front of him. She could see their glasses had been refilled and that this latest bottle of wine was soon to be finished.
"Is Lou upstairs?" Will asked. Sandy pushed his chair out to make room for Kirsten to sit on his lap and she nodded. Will stood up, wandered towards the stairs. Kirsten leant back into Sandy, curling so her head was comfortably on his shoulder. She sighed and toyed with the hair curling down to the nape of his neck.
"What just happened?" Sandy asked. Kirsten moved her leg and turned so she was facing him.
"Abso-fucking-lutely nothing." She leant in, trailing kisses over his cheek, down his neck. She remembered sitting with him like this at the end of parties, making out until they had to run back to his place to have sex. Once they didn't make it and he'd pulled her into an alleyway. Standing up, they'd hidden in the shadows and ignored the drunk students walking by, wolf whistling at them.
"Remember… After a party… The alleyway." Kirsten said between kisses. She felt Sandy growing hard beneath her, felt the cocaine pulsing blood to her head, her loins. Somehow kissing Will, feeling another man's lips on hers made her want Sandy even more.
"We're going to go." Louise's voice interrupted them, and Kirsten moved her leg again, turned around so her back was to Sandy's chest.
"Can you drive?" She asked. Will nodded, dangling keys.
"I didn't drink too much." Louise pulled on his arm and he let his fingertips drift from hers as she left the room. Sandy was kissing the back of her neck and didn't notice Will hold up the plastic baggie. He picked up a spice tin from above the stove and dropped it in before winking at her. She offered him a small wave and he blew her a kiss before he left. Hearing the door shut behind them, Kirsten turned back around to Sandy.
"Where were we?" She said, grinning wickedly.
Have I lost my mind? What the hell was that? No, really, flame away. I call it a bit of fluff that got caught behind the refrigerator and moulded for a while before finally coming back as something darker. Call it the fluff revenge. As I am usually your average angst-lover, this is new territory. However, there may be angst to come. I mean, let me run with anything for a while and there's sure to be tears.
PS. Drugs are bad. They rip apart families and turn lives into something less. It doesn't mean I condone the use of illicit substances just because I write about them. I've got a psycho going in another story (Joni, btw, if you haven't read it. Feel free to click over to there if you haven't yet set eyes on it) but I don't condone them, either.